In the midst of so much bad news in the world, it is doubly saddening to hear of the murder of Brother Roger, the prior of the Protestant ecumenical community in Taize, France. It was my privilege in 1973, when I was attending the International Lasallian Center in Rome for a semester, to spend Holy Week in Taize with Brother Roger's monks. Having an audience with him was a treat, his sparkling blue eyes contrasting with his white hair (oddly, he would have been about my age at that time, though he seemed to be "old"). After we listened to him and pretty much fell in love with his simplicity and kindness, he jumped into a tiny car and headed for the monastery church. His driving was completely mad. When he arrived at the church and took his place, sitting in tailor posture, not on a pew, children from the congregation automatically ran to be around him, and that was how he led the liturgy, with children leaning against him. I could not help but think of Jesus' example.
Ninety is quite long enough to live, but to be murdered is beyond belief.
By Paul Giurlanda, professor and chair of the Religious Studies Department
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